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"Age Out" Victory Against ICE: Garcia Ramirez v. ICE

September 22, 2021 (1 min read)

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER - "When minors lacking immigration status arrive in the United States without parents or other guardians, they are designated UACs and are placed in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement (“HHS” and “ORR”). If they are still in custody on their eighteenth birthday, the now-adult immigrants “age out” of HHS and ORR custody and are transferred to ICE custody. Immigrants who undergo this transfer from HHS to ORR are referred to by the parties as “age-outs,” and a subset of these age-outs make up the plaintiff class in this case. Section 1232(c)(2)(B) requires that when ICE receives custody of an age-out it “consider placement in the least restrictive setting available after taking into account the alien’s danger to self, danger to the community, and risk of flight.” 8 U.S.C. § 1232(c)(2)(B). The Court has found Defendants liable for failing to follow the requirements of the statute and found in the Plaintiffs’ favor with regard to both counts of their Amended Complaint. In particular, the Court found that Defendants act in a manner that is “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law,” in violation of 5 U.S.C. § 706(2), when they fail to make a custody determination that considers placement in the least restrictive setting after taking into account the factors identified in the statute (Count I). ... Plaintiff’s Motion for Entry of Final Judgment and Permanent Injunction (ECF No. 359) is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, while Defendants’ Motion to Issue Interim Guidance (ECF No. 337) is DENIED AS MOOT. An entry of final judgment and a permanent injunction consistent with this Memorandum Opinion is separately and contemporaneously issued."